I’ve been back at it big time since January, but haven’t gotten around to blogging at all. I’m almost to “onederland” – currently 203lbs. I’ve lost 7″ from my waist, 3″ from my thighs(!)… I’m working out 5x/week and counting my calories.
For years, I’ve toyed with getting in shape and losing the weight. For years, I’ve failed again and again. I’m not stopping this time. I have a deadline for reaching 185lbs and I plan to meet it head on.
In Dec 2014 I was diagnosed with Lynch Syndrome. After being diagnosed with sigmoid (colon) cancer in 2013 at the age of 32, my gastroenterologist tested me for gene mutations and I have a mutation of the MSH6 gene (one of the Lynch Syndrome genes) and that brings with it a 70%+ likelihood of both colon and uterine cancers.
I met with an oncologist in January and she told me that the 2 things everyone in the medical community agrees on when it comes to Lynch are yearly colonoscopies (check!) and a full hysterectomy. That hit hard. I am currently a single mom (separated from what is now my 2nd marriage) and have no sign that another child is anywhere in my future. While I was okay with that, the thought of losing my bits and going through early menopause didn’t sit well with me at all. I had to mull it over.
A friend sat me down and said, “You have to do this. You have to do whatever you can to be here for as long as you can for that little guy.” (referring to my son, who is 8) I knew he was right.
At that point, I decided two things. First, I had to lose some weight. I was 245+lbs when I had colon resection surgery in 2013 and recovery was a miserable experience – my belly would swing and my incision wouldn’t heal properly. I had to wear a binder for weeks to keep my belly from moving. The colon surgeon had told me that my abdomen was full of scar tissue (I’d had 2 abdominal surgeries prior to that one – c-section and a follow up surgery to remove infected tissue after my c-section). I knew my hysterectomy wouldn’t be done laproscopically because I was told they couldn’t have done my resection surgery that way.
Second, I wanted to turn this into a positive experience for me. I asked my OB/Gyn if I might be able to get a tummy tuck while she’s in there. I couldn’t bear the thought of opening up my scar AGAIN only to leave it – once again – worse than it was before. My midsection is already so embarrassing. Clothes don’t fit right – my overhang belly sticks out through the leg holes of my underwear, for crying out loud. She said yes and recommended me to a plastic surgeon.
I went to visit him for a consult and he spent a full hour with me – at no cost – discussing how the surgery would be performed, what I could expect…and showed me several before/after examples of his work on women who were shaped very much like me. It was life-altering. I left there with a piece of paper telling me how much it would cost – $7000 – and a lump in my throat because I knew that’s what I wanted…what I (almost) needed. I didn’t know how I would afford it, but I knew I had to find a way.
I also knew I had to lose a substantial amount of weight. He told me that with my shape, I would likely have good results regardless – the bulk of my weight is in my midsection and a lot of it in the lower belly that overhangs. Of course he said that the more weight I lost before surgery, the better my results would be.
Surgery is scheduled for July 27th. I’m down 25lbs so far and hoping to lose another 15 in the next 2 months. Even another 10 would make me happy.
I’ve scheduled my next physical for June 6th. I can’t wait to see the look on my GP’s face when I weigh in lighter than he’s ever seen me. I haven’t been this light in over 10 years. I also haven’t been this fit in probably 15 years. Now hopefully my bloodwork also looks better than it ever has.
More to come…